Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Friday!

Hi All –

 Happy Friday!  Happy day after Thanksgiving!  Sorry this is a little later getting out than usual, but the office is closed today, so I’m over here typing it instead of Kay (so please forgive any typos!).  I hope you and yours had a great day together yesterday.  I had fun being with a portion of our family at my nephew Bo’s new home.  It was their first time hosting Thanksgiving and they did a great job.  We missed the rest of the family, but they too were celebrating – from Washington State to Alabama to Philadelphia to South Carolina and more!  It’s tough to get a family that now numbers 34 all together these days! 

 Anyway, on to the business at hand!  Here’s what’s happening at the church this weekend:

-          On Sunday, Advent begins!  We’ll mark the beginning of this four week journey to Christmas by lighting the first candle on the Advent wreath, singing new responses, and starting a new sermon series – “What Can I Get You for Christmas?”  The answer this week – “A Limb.”  Come to worship and find out what that means!

-          Also on Sunday, my Advent Lunch and Learn class begins.  We’ll be using Kyle Idleman’s video series entitled “The Christmas Experience.”  We’ll meet in Weldin Hall and begin with lunch.  Almost 25 people have signed up, but there’s still room for more, so if you’d like to take part in this four week series which takes place all of the Sundays in Advent from 12:30 – 2 p.m. email me at and we’ll make sure there’s a place at the lunch table for you!

-          If you have not turned in your 2016 financial pledge card, it’s not too late.  We got a bunch more last Sunday and look forward to receiving the rest of them soon.  The numbers are looking good, and we’ll report them when all the cards have come in.  If you lost your card, or didn’t get one, please see the ushers on Sunday morning – they have extras.

-          The last College Care Packages of the fall semester will be packed up this Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m. in Weldin Hall.  So if you’re coming to the 8:30 service, you can still bring donations.  And if you have some time on your hands and want to help pack the boxes, the team would welcome your help.  Simply wander into Weldin Hall at 9:45 a.m.!

-          The December newsletter is printed and ready to be picked up across from the Welcome Center, and it’s also already on line on our church’s website – elkton!  Make sure to check it out, because December is filled with special services and events!

-          Also available Sunday is this year’s Advent devotional.  A devotion has been written for each day in Advent by a member or friend of our church, and they are wonderful (I’ve previewed them!).  What a great way to start your day, and make your Advent journey!  The devotional is also available on the church’s website!

-          Hope a lot of you are stocking up on your baking supplies for the UMW Cookie Walk on December 12th!  The UMW needs as many people to bake cookies as possible – so if you’d like to help, email Judy Tanner at to let her know how many you will bake.

-          And I hope a lot of you are recording your activity times – especially those of you who have joined the madness shopping on Black Friday!  Send your info to or text 443-350-4515.  We’ve made it halfway around the world in our quest to circle the globe!  Keep up the good work!

-          Don’t forget to include in your prayers all who will help our church sponsor the first week of the Rotating Homeless Shelter starting on Monday.  Thanks to everyone who has signed up to participate – we couldn’t do it without you!  Check the Shelter poster on the Missions bulletin board on Sunday to see if your help might still be needed!

I think that’s it for now, except to say thank you to those who delivered our Thanksgiving gift cards yesterday.  I heard from several of them who said that those who received them were surprised and very, very grateful that we remembered their sacrifice of working on a day when all of us were home with our families!  Thanks for your gifts which make it possible for us to do this wonderful mission every Thanksgiving!

Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  If you’re traveling, may you have a safe journey home.  If you’re shopping, may you not max out your credit cards!  If you’re blessed with another day off to spend with family and friends, be grateful!  If you’re decorating your house for Christmas, let me know when you’re finished – you can do mine!  Just kidding!

At any rate, have a great day, and I look forward to seeing you in worship on Sunday morning as we ring in a brand new Christian year with the start of Advent!

                                                                                                        Grace and Peace,


Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Update for November 20, 2015

Hi All –

Happy Friday!  I’m thankful for this new, dry morning God has given us after that dreary, rainy day yesterday.  I had to drive to Milford for a meeting, and it was ugly.  Driving on Rt. 1 with heavy rain and the spray from big trucks was no picnic!  So today, with the sunshine peeking through the trees outside my window is a beautiful thing!  Enjoy it!

 Here’s what’s happening at the church this weekend:

-          Tonight at 6:30, the Classic Christians (50 and over) gather for their November meeting.  The night will begin with a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share) and then continues with a surprise!  And when I say surprise, I mean it – because even I don’t know what it is!  All I know is a bunch of the Classic Christians have been working for months on it, so you ought to come just to see what all the excitement is about!  Come, even if you have not signed up ahead of time.  It’s in Weldin Hall at 6:30.

-          On Sunday in worship, we’ll celebrate “Thanksgiving Sunday” and we’ll look again at the story of the ten lepers who were healed, and their various responses to that healing.  We’ll be blessed to hear both the Children’s and Handbell Choirs, as well as our always wonderful Chancel Choir. 
-          Sunday will also be the opportunity for those of you who did not get to turn in your financial pledge cards for 2016 to do so.  You can place them in the offering plate.  If you didn’t get a pledge card, or lost it, see one of the ushers.  They have extras!  We had a good return of cards last week with good results, but everyone’s help is needed – so please don’t forget to turn your pledge in as soon as possible!

-          Also on Sunday, your opportunity to give in other ways continues:

o   The ornaments will be ready to pick up from the Angel Tree near the Welcome Center.  The Angel Tree project helps provide Christmas presents for children of incarcerated parents.  If you’d like to help, pick an ornament off of the Angel Tree, and someone will be there to give you instructions about when to return the gift.

o   We’re still collecting mittens, gloves, scarves, hats and children’s underwear for the Mitten Tree project.  That collection bin is near the Welcome Center as well.

o   And so is the bin for the donations to the College Care Package project.  The care packages will be assembled next Sunday, so you still have time to donate some goodies.

o   Finally, we’re still looking for a few more people to help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter the week after Thanksgiving.  We especially need overnight help.  So take a look at the poster on the Missions bulletin board in the Hospitality Area, and sign up if you can!

-          Good News!  Thanks to so many participating in our Methodists in Motion activity challenge, we’ve made it halfway around the world!  Yay!  Keep up the good work, and keep reporting your activity times to or text 443-350-4515.

-          Lastly, I want to especially invite you to attend the Elkton Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service on Sunday night at 7 p.m.  The service will take place at the Elkton Presbyterian Church, and will feature a combined choir from all the churches (including members of our choir!), clergy from all of the churches leading the service, and Father Paul Colloton from Immaculate Conception preaching.  I hope you’ll come, because it’s really the only time during the whole year that we worship together beyond denominational boundaries. 

I think that’s it for now.  Have a great Friday, and an even greater weekend!  A special shout
out to the Elkton High School football team in tournament play against North Caroline
tonight!  They’re having a great year, and it brings back great memories for me of when I was
a student there and Sonny Tenney and Dick Shaffer were coaching!  Good luck Golden Elks!

Again, have a great weekend!  Find time for yourself even while you tackle all your weekend
tasks.  Spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see some of you tonight at the “surprise”
Classic Christians meeting and the rest of you on Sunday morning in worship!

                                                                                                Grace and Peace,


Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday, Nov 6, 2015

Hi All –
 Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve enjoyed the brief return to summer weather these past few days.  Better enjoy today, because it looks like the cold returns over the weekend – but no worries, we’ll warm you up with yummy spaghetti tomorrow night (see below)!
Here’s what’s happening this weekend:
-          Tomorrow night is indeed our annual Spaghetti Dinner.  It runs from 4-7 p.m. in Weldin Hall and tickets are available at the door.  Cost is $10/adults and $5/children under 10.  There’s also a family plan –  a maximum of $30 for an individual family of up to 6 people.  So there’s no excuse not to come and enjoy this great event!  Also, make plans to stop by the bake table and take some goodies home with you!

-          Sunday is chocked full of activities.  We’ll begin with worship in the morning, and I’ll offer the second sermon in my “Daring Faith” sermon series – this week focusing on “Daring to Give Extravagantly”, as we prepare to make our financial pledges next Sunday.

     There are a number of other opportunities for you on Sunday morning as well:

o   We’ll be taking a one-time offering for gift cards that we’ll deliver to people who have to work on Thanksgiving Day (hospital workers, police and fire personnel, etc.).  A basket will be located near the top of the stairs as you leave worship in which you can put your donation.

o   Cathy Gohlke will be with us and will have copies of her new book Secrets She Kept on sale.  She’ll be glad to sign them as well.  It will be good to see Cathy and give her hugs and kisses.  She’s been fighting a battle with cancer and we’re so happy that she’s doing well enough to be with us.  Make sure you stop by the table in the Hospitality Area to see her!

o   The Boy Scouts will be back to continue taking orders for Christmas wreaths.  The wreaths will be delivered early in December.  The money the Scouts make from this sale will help to fund their amazing projects and activities throughout the year, so plan to buy a wreath and help them out!

o   If you took an empty shoe box for the UMW Christmas boxes, now’s the time to return it (filled!) to the table near the Welcome Center.  Nancy Stubbs will be delivering all of the boxes to the collection center after next Sunday.  (Which means if you didn’t take a box to fill, it’s not too late!)

o   The bin for the Mitten Tree project is now in place near the Welcome Center, so it’s ready for your donations of new mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, and children’s underwear.  It will be in place until the end of November, when everything will be taken to the Help Center for distribution before Christmas.

o   We’re starting to collect goodies for the next College Care Package as well, and you can put donations in that box in the Welcome Center anytime before Thanksgiving.

o   Finally, and perhaps right now, most importantly, we still need lots of help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter.  Please go to the Missions bulletin board and check out the poster to see where you can help.  We need on-site help (hosts/hostesses, dinner preparers and servers, overnight help), but we also are in need of supplies.  Our week to sponsor the shelter (the week after Thanksgiving) is rapidly approaching, so please help as you can.

-          Sunday at 12:15, there will be a New Member Orientation Class in Weldin Hall, so if you’re interested in joining the church, or just learning more about the church, you’re invited to attend.  It’s okay to come even if you have not pre-registered.  Lunch is provided, as is childcare.

-          Good news about our Methodists in Motion activity challenge – we’ve made it 39.2% around the world (which puts us in Nepal!)!  At this point, 19 individuals and 13 families are sending in their stats, but it’s not too late for you to take part.  Simply keep track of the time you’re active (walking, running, exercising, participating in sports or marching band, working in the yard, etc.) and then send the info to EUMCWalkers@gmail or text it to 443-350-4515.  We’ve made great progress, but we still have a long way to go to get around the world!

Phew!  That’s a lot of stuff, I know, but we’ve got a lot going on – which is great!  As I said last week, you can’t do everything on this list, but do what touches your heart, and know that, through all of us working together, everything will get done.

Enjoy your Friday, and then have a wonderful weekend!  Try to find some time to rest and relax, treat yourself to a dinner out with us tomorrow night, spend time with those you love, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday morning!

                                                                                                        Grace and Peace,

PS – I know it’s a little ahead of the game, but don’t forget, next Wednesday, on Veterans’ Day, to thank all those who have served on our behalf!  We owe them so much!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Friday, Oct 30, 2015

Hi All –
Happy Friday!  What a busy and exciting weekend we have ahead of us!  All of you with children in your household are surely gearing up for trick or treating tomorrow night – getting the costumes ready, getting the candy ready to give out (and trying not to eat it ahead of time!).   And some of you are probably going to don the costumes a little early tonight and head out to the Elkton Halloween parade!  Whatever your plans, I hope you have a fun and safe time with your family and friends!

 It’s also a busy and exciting weekend for our church!  Here’s what’s happening:

-          Don’t forget to change your clocks Saturday night before you go to bed as Daylight Saving Time ends!  Turn them back one hour and enjoy that extra sleep!

-          On Sunday, we’ll celebrate All Saints’ Day, the day on which we remember those we love who have died in the past year.  During worship, we’ll see a video presentation on the members of our church who have died, and then, following that, everyone who wishes to can bring a flower to the altar in memory of a loved one who has passed away.  So if you'd like to remember someone special, please bring a single flower with you to worship on Sunday.  This is always a very moving and special service in the life of our church.

-          Also on Sunday, I’ll start a new sermon series entitled “Daring Faith.”  We’ll look together at the story of the friends who lowered their paralyzed friend down through the roof of a house at the feet of Jesus for healing – about how bold and daring that was – and how Jesus challenges us to be bold and daring in our faith as well.  We’ll also be celebrating holy communion together.

You’ll have several opportunities to sign-up for things this weekend:

o   We’re still looking for bakers for the Spaghetti Dinner on November 7th.  You can sign up to help on the insert in Sunday’s bulletin.  Also, tickets for the dinner will be on sale during the hospitality hour after both services.  Why don’t you invite some friends and family to come to the dinner with you?  It’s always delicious!

o   Our Boy Scout Troop 443 will be in the hospitality area to take orders for Christmas wreaths.  This is a major fundraiser for them, and the proceeds from the project help to fund their camping trips and other activities.  The wreaths will be delivered in December.  Last week, we showed incredible support to our Cub Pack, to the tune of nearly $800 in popcorn sales and $100 more in donations.  Let’s show the same support this week to our Scout Troop!

o   We still need lots and lots of help with the Rotating Homeless Shelter, which we sponsor the week after Thanksgiving.  A poster will be on the Missions bulletin board in the hospitality area on which you can sign up to help.  You can also still sign up on-line.  Go to, scroll down to where it says “Find a Sign-Up,” click on that and then type in, and you’ll find the sign-up pages.  Please help if you can!

-          A New Member Orientation Class will be held next Sunday, November 8th at 12:15 p.m. in Weldin Hall.  If you’d like to join our church, or simply learn more about it, you’re invited to participate.  To sign up, email or call the church office at 410-398-0933.

-          “Methodists in Motion” is still in high gear!  We’re moving our way around the globe, but we need your activity stats to get there!  Send them to or text them to 443-350-4515.

-          Finally, in this Sunday’s bulletin, you’ll see a “Giving” insert.  I’ve put this together for several years now, and it has proven to be very beneficial.  This insert lists all of the giving opportunities that you’ll have from now until Christmas – and there are tons of them!  The reason I put them on an insert is that I want you to be able to look at the whole landscape of opportunities you’ll have, and then choose the one or ones you want to do.  Please do not try to do them all – it will be overwhelming if you do.  Look over the list, and pray about which ones really touch your heart, and participate in them.   Together, all of us, will get all of them done, but none of us has to do them all.

I think that’s it for now!  Have a great Friday, and a wonderful weekend!  Enjoy the fun of Halloween, spend time with those you love, try to fit in time for all of your chores, and then I’ll see you in worship on Sunday for our very special All Saints’ celebration!
                                                                                                                Grace and Peace,